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The card_name is a card designed for those with poor credit who don't want to consider a secured credit card. It does report to all three credit bureaus, and you'll earn 1% cash back on purchases. However, its high fees should prompt one to look elsewhere. While this card offers quick approval, there are cheaper and better options available. We dive into the details in this First Digital review.
0% on Purchases
1% cash back
0% on Balance Transfers
Features & Benefits
|Security||Credit Score Monitoring, Zero Liability, Identity theft protection|
|Benefits||Free credit score access|
Interest Rates & Fees
|Annual Fee||$75.00 for first year. After that, $48.00 annually.|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||N/A|
|Regular APR||35.99 (V) APR|
What Credit Score Is Required to Get the First Digital Mastercard®
- Quick application and response
- Annual fee
- No welcome bonus
- High APR
What Are the Best Alternatives?
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card
U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa® Secured Card
1% - 5%
The First Digital Mastercard® is a credit card designed for people with bad credit or no credit. It’s a full-fledged, unsecured Mastercard that comes with many of the perks of other Mastercards but the cost of unsecured credit with this product is high.
First Digital Mastercard Features
Bad and Poor Credit are Accepted
One of the biggest hurdles in getting approved for a loan or credit card is your credit score. Many lenders aren’t willing to lend to people who don’t have a long credit history or who have missed a few payments in the past.
The First Digital Mastercard® is designed to help people build credit, so it does not require good credit from its applicants. If you have trouble qualifying for other credit cards, you may still be able to qualify for this card, which can help build up your credit score.
Unsecured Credit Line
Secured credit cards are popular amongst people with poor credit or no credit because they’re much easier to qualify for than typical cards. To get a secured credit card, you simply have to give the card issuer a cash deposit to hold while you use the card. Normally, you have to provide $300 – $500, and your credit limit will be equal to the amount you deposit.
The First Digital Mastercard® is an unsecured card, so you don’t have to give the lender any collateral when you qualify for the card.
This card offers 1% cash back on every purchase. It's not a great rate, but every little bit helps. However, you'll have to wait at least six months to redeem your rewards, and they're only available in 500-point increments.
This card also offers access to your Vantage 3.0 Score and credit education.
Easy Application Process
You can apply for the card directly through the First Digital website by filling out a short form. Most applicants can receive a decision in less than a minute without having to go through a credit bureau or have a credit report issued.
First Digital Mastercard Pricing and Fees
The First Digital Mastercard® falls short of the competition when it comes to pricing and fees. It’s expensive to open and use the card. These are all the fees associated with it:
- Program Fee
- Annual Fee
- Monthly Servicing Fee
- Cash Advance Fee
- Late Payment Fee
- Returned Payment Fee
- Additional Card Fee
- Premium Plastic Card Design Fee
- Credit Limit Increase Fee
- Express Delivery Fee
- Copying Fee
- Expedited Telephone Payment Fee
You don’t have to pay a fee when you apply for the card, but if you do qualify, First Digital requires a $95 one-time Program Fee before mailing the card to you. On top of the $95 fee, the card charges a $75 annual fee in the first year and a $48 fee per year each year after that. That means you’ll pay $170 in cash in the first year just to open and use the card.
Once you get the card, you can use it to make purchases or withdraw cash as needed. Making a purchase isn’t expensive if you don’t pay interest. However, you’ll pay a huge amount of interest if you carry a balance from month to month.
If you get a credit limit increase, you'll be charged 25% of the total limit. So, if you get a $100 credit limit increase, you'll be charged 25%, or $25, leaving you with just $75 to spend.
The card charges a fee of 35.99% APR for purchases and cash advances. If you do take a cash advance, you’ll also pay a fee of $10 or 3% (whichever is greater) of the amount that you withdraw, plus the interest that accrues on the cash advance.
First Digital Mastercard Application Process
Applying for the First Digital Mastercard® is easy. You can apply through the company’s website using a relatively short form. To apply, you have to provide:
- Your name
- Contact information
- Whether you have an active checking account
- Date of birth
- Social security number
- Employment status
- How long you have lived at your current residence
- How frequently and how much you get paid
- Your estimated monthly expenses
- Whether you have or use a debit card
- Whether you intend to use the card for cash advances
- Whether you intend to pay the program fee if approved
- Whether you would like to add an additional cardholder
Once you apply, most people receive a lending decision within a minute. If you’re approved, you can immediately pay the $95 to receive the card.
First Digital Mastercard Security and Support
The First Digital Mastercard® comes with all of the security features of a standard Mastercard such as identity theft protection and zero liability.
You won’t be held liable if someone uses your card without your permission so long as you notice the fraudulent transactions and inform your card issuer within a reasonable amount of time. Mastercard also has automatic fraud protection systems in place to help prevent people from using your card in the first place.
The First Digital website also uses up-to-date web security standards and software to help keep your account information secure when you sign in to manage your account.
First Digital now has a mobile app, available on the App Store and on Google Play. It also has a responsive website that adapts to the size of your device’s screen. You can visit the First Digital Mastercard® website from your computer or phone to sign in to your online account, view your statements, or make payments.
First Digital has an online customer center available 24/7, meaning you can get help with your account any time, any day.
If you want to speak to a human for assistance, you’ll have to call the number on the company’s website and navigate a phone tree to get to someone who can assist you.
First Digital Mastercard Pros and Cons
- Quick application process — If you’re having trouble qualifying for a card and getting frustrated with waiting to find out whether your application is approved or not, the First Digital Mastercard® can help you avoid that frustration. You can fill out an application online and most people get their decision within minutes.
- Perfect credit not required — The First Digital Mastercard® is for people with poor or no credit, who can build a history of timely payments and improve their credit score. If you’ve struggled to qualify for other credit cards, you might still be able to qualify for this one.
- High fees — The First Digital Mastercard® is expensive. You have to pay a $95 fee to open the account and a $75 annual fee for the first year. After that, $48 annually. If you ever carry a balance, you’ll also be hit with massive interest charges.
- Lackluster rewards: You get 1% cash back on all purchases with this card, which is certainly better than nothing. However, there are secured cards out there that offer better rewards and more cash back.
Who Is the First Digital Mastercard Designed For
The First Digital Mastercard® is explicitly designed for people with poor or no credit. The card is expensive to open and use, but if you’re out of options elsewhere and need to start building your credit, this card may be able to help you–as long as you use it responsibly and pay it off every month. Carrying a balance on this card is not something you want to do.
Remember, there are also many secured credit cards that require deposits similar to the upfront costs charged by First Digital Mastercard®.
Given that secured card deposits are refundable, unlike First Digital Mastercard® fees, you may want to look into one of those options first–especially since most secured cards also have lower interest rates and may offer perks like cashback rewards.
Is the First Digital Mastercard Right for You?
A word of warning and some advice. This article examined many credit cards that are ideal for those struggling with poor or no credit. However, in many of these instances, a credit card is not the solution to their woes.
While many of these credit cards offer assistance in rebuilding or restoring a damaged credit score, we recommend that this approach is complemented by a renewed commitment to budgeting and responsible money management.
In other words, think of these cards as a tool for helping you rebuild your credit score, but not as a result. If not used responsibly, a credit card can end up damaging your credit score even further. While secured credit cards ensure that you don’t miss payments, they do not offer the complete freedom of an unsecured card.
Building your credit is all about building and maintaining responsible money management and debt fulfillment habits. In terms of a credit card, you must be sure that you pay your bills on time, every time. One missed payment can stay on your record for years.
Our top recommendation is to set a schedule for bill or loan payments and to stick to it. Set aside a time every month to meet all your monthly obligations, to the point where it becomes a habit. As an added bonus, you’ll save time by doing it all at once.
The First Digital Mastercard® can help people with poor or no credit build or rebuild their credit history. Though cheaper options do exist, this one might be one of the easiest to qualify for. If you’re considering this card, you’ll want to check out the alternatives first.
But, if saving up the required deposit for a secured card isn’t possible and you must apply for an unsecured card, this one will get the job done.